While most post-mining plans, especially for surface mines, calls for pits to be redeveloped into lakes or farm land, an increasing body of research and evidence shows that these ripped-up landscapes can be successfully transformed into clean energy gold mines—whose solar PV resource potential, unlike coal’s, is infinite. L. Michael Buchsbaum reports
Look to Europe to Improve the Green New Deal: Why Laws Matter
The Green New Deal (GND) pact embraced by scores of US Democrats is chock- full of vibrant ideas and urgent policy considerations. It’s right that with the climate crisis accelerating faster than scientists predicted and our window to curb it narrowing, we have to think big – indeed something at least as sweeping in scope as the New Deal recovery program of the 1930s. Paul Hockenos reports
Sound and fury: Merkel’s Climate Cabinet and its shortcomings
Despite increasing public pressure, both coalition parties within Merkel’s so-called Climate Cabinet favor taxes or market based trading schemes to tackle the climate crisis instead of new regulations to increase renewable energy or hard measures to phase out fossil fuels. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look
New trains for old tracks – how Guatemala City aims to tackle its traffic chaos
Sometimes clean and efficient energy solutions do not require rocket science or fancy buzzwords, such as block chain or other digital jargon. When it comes to reforming public transportation in urban areas the City of Guatemala is now retrieving old train tracks – put in place in the late 1800s to aid the country’s growing banana exports – to solve its mounting traffic nightmare. Rebecca Bertram reports
Can Ireland get the definition of community energy right?
The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive of 2018 requires member states to provide special support for “community energy.” Doing so requires a definition of “community renewables” that is eligible for that special support. Ireland may be the most interesting case at present. Craig Morris takes a look.
Energy transition ‘happening fast but not quickly enough’
The remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C will be exhausted as early as 2028, even as the transition to low-carbon energy gains momentum, according to risk management firm DNV GL, which calls for “extraordinary policy action” to lower emissions. Frédéric Simon reports
Deliberate de-liberalization: The case of the RWE-E.ON-Innogy merger
The complex merger deal will transform Europe’s worst polluter, RWE, into one of its largest renewable energy generators allowing it unprecedented behind-the-meter influence as partner E.ON dominates German grid distribution and consumer access. This poses a threat for competition and could upend Europe’s energy transition.
Student protests helped to set Prague’s Climate Ambitions in motion
It happened quickly and quietly. Within only two minutes, Prague City Assembly members managed to discuss and approve a local obligation to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 % by 2030 during a meeting last September. Of the 58 assembly members present, 40 voted in favor and nobody was against. Petra Kolínská takes a look
Greta’s Coming for Us: It’s the climate-change believers she’s out to flip
On a high-speed, zero-emissions vessel, Greta Thunberg arrived in the
U.S. from Europe on August 29 – a masterpiece of symbolism and PR savvy, the kind which by now we’ve come to expect from the Swedish teenager and her fellow activists in the Fridays for Future movement. In the space of just one short year, their audacious “school strikes” on Fridays have prompted a startling reality check among citizens and politicos in much of Europe and beyond, including German chancellor Angela Merkel – but, alas, not in the US. Paul Hockenos reports
Gagging on America’s freedom gas
As utilities across Europe make the switch from coal to gas, CO2 emissions there are falling. But on the other side of the Atlantic, ever-rising fracking production deteriorates air and water quality, impacting public health. Buchsbaum reports from Colorado where ozone and other industry associated pollutants regularly makes outdoor exercise dangerous.